|Directed by:||Tarsem Singh|
|Written by:||Melissa Wallack, Jason Keller|
|Cast:||Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Lilly Collins, Nathan Lane, Mare Winningham, Michael Lerner|
|Genre:||Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy|
I must question the whole “fairest in the land” story. I went through this movie thinking that Lily Collins is a pretty girl, but fairest? Not that they show you everyone else in the land (and the townsfolk you do see are all destitute because of the Evil Queen’s taxation) but throughout the film I had to wonder, does having really thick eyebrows make you the fairest in the land? Because if it does, then the Snow White of this film would win hands-down, as long as Bert from Sesame Street doesn’t move in.
After the Queen’s chief ass-kisser (Nathan Lane) fails to kill Snow White she escapes into the woods and finds an array of dwarfs borrowed from other films and TV shows. Look; it’s Kramer’s little friend from “Seinfeld”! There’s the pirate dwarf from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies! Two of the little people from the TV series “Pit Boss”! The circus midget from “Water for Elephants”! Wait, Nobody else saw that movie! I think the filmmakers botched the chance to give equal opportunity to the little people by keeping them all males. As long as they’re changing all the names (like “Grubb” and “Napoleon” instead of “Sleepy” and “Sneezy”) why not throw some women in there? I would have loved to see the dwarf chick from “Total Recall” mix it up with the boys (in this film they’re bandits, another departure from the miner dwarfs in Disney’s classic). The dwarves do provide the movie with its more humorous moments, although it sometimes gets a bit too close to slapstick. There are also a few small chuckles when the Queen gives the wrong love potion to a prince (Armie Hammer) that she is trying to seduce, though that scene does devolve into pure silliness.
The true magic of a well-made fairy tale lies not just in the story but in its ability to transport you to magical and far-off lands. It’s hit-and-miss in this film; the sets showing the interior of the castle are impressive enough, but the town and forest scenes are obviously shot inside a studio (hint: if you’re shooting a winter scene, CGI in some steam from people breathing; and maybe make it look a bit uncomfortable for people walking barefoot in the snow).
“Mirror Mirror” is an amusing re-imagining of the Snow White tale that straddles a line somewhere between Grimm and Disney, but I’m more anxious to see the purely dramatic “Snow White and the Huntsman” coming out later this summer – even with Kristin Stewart in the title role. “Rent it”.